How to choose a color printer for home?
Color printing is now available more than ever. In addition to expensive printers for the office, there are many budget models designed for small print volumes and then ideal for the home. We figure out which one is better to buy, how much a good printer can cost — just below are our recommendations for models.
Choosing a printer: the main nuances
To understand how to choose a color printer for home use, you need to deal with the main question: how do different models differ. Today in the range you can find three types of printers.
Inkjet - printed on paper with tiny drops of black and color ink (from 3 to 6 colors) through a special matrix. They are inexpensive, easy to maintain, able to work with photographic paper. Original cartridges are not cheap, but for large print volumes, you can install continuous ink supply systems (CISS), this will greatly reduce costs. But most likely, you will have to forget about warranty service.
low power consumption
Ability to print on thick photo paper
head ink dries up when printing irregularly
cost per page is relatively high
Laser — here the magnetized particles of toner are transferred to the photoconductor, forming an image for paper on it. More suitable for the office, because they do not know how to print on photo paper. But they work much faster than inkjet ones — they can “spit out” up to 25 pages per minute.
suitable for occasional printing
cost per page is low
the toner lasts a long time
lower resolution than inkjet printers
do not print on thick photo paper
LED or LED printers — This is a parallel branch of the development of laser printing technologies and works on a principle similar to laser printing. There is no photodrum in LED printer cartridges, which means you can not experiment with dubious refills and purchase original ones inexpensively.
The advantages of LED models are the same as those of laser ones, but they are more environmentally friendly, so they are better suited for home use. True, these printers are more expensive.
Printer specifications: what to look for?
Format. It is unlikely that you will need a printer designed for A0 — for domestic use, equipment with A4 (standard sheet of paper) and A3 (twice as large as A4) is more suitable.
Permission. For printing documents or pictures downloaded from the Internet, it is unprincipled. If you want to print photos, it is better to choose a model with a resolution of at least 4800x1200 for color format.
Print speed. Again, there is no point in dwelling on the “rate of fire” for the house. An inkjet printer can spend about 40 seconds to print a 10 * 15 photo, an inexpensive laser printer produces an average of 4–5 pages per minute.
The presence of a Wi-Fi module. A great feature with which you can transfer files to print wirelessly. It is very convenient if you shoot on a smartphone — you do not need to connect it to a computer.
Total: a color printer for the home, which one to choose?
We have selected several models, inexpensive and popular.
Canon PIXMA TS304 — from 20$
- Small in size, it’s a convenient and reliable option for low-volume, high-quality printing without being tied to a PC with a cord.
- Suitable for regular, 2–3 times a week printing in small volumes — to issue a postcard or a title page for a diploma and an essay.
Advantages: low price, silent, high speed, wireless interface.
Flaws: to work with mobile gadgets over the air, you need separate software, does not support iOS.
A good option, does not take up much space, while it looks quite stylish. Resolution 4800×1200 dpi will be quite enough even for photo printing. Despite the low price, the device has good reviews.
Canon PIXMA iP7240 — from 42$.
- good speed — 10 ppm, color reproduction at the level of professional devices and a resolution of whole dpi 9600x2400;
- the ability to print on the surfaces of CD / DVD discs, envelopes perfectly complements the functionality.
Advantages: affordable price, duplex printing, maximum resolution, work with mobile devices via WiFi;
Flaws: lack of CISS, you will have to spend money on consumables for large volumes of printing.
A good choice for those who want to showcase their creativity on glossy or matte paper in excellent quality.
Canon PIXMA G1410 — from 90$.
- Equipped with CISS, this cartridgeless printer has saved the user the pain of choosing between economy and quality;
- resolution of 4800x1200 dpi for borderless printing is more than enough for the rapid production of high-quality documents and photos.
Advantages: the price-quality is optimal, the cost of a print will please any miser.
Flaws: Connect with USB cable only, not included.
A great option for those who print a lot. One refill of ink bottles is enough for about 7,000 color pages!
Epson L312 — from 87$.
- with an excellent resolution of 5760 × 1440 dpi, the printer outputs 15 ppm in color over the USB interface. and 33 pages in black and white;
- print great photos on branded paper of any size. Together with this printer, you can organize an amateur photo studio at home.
Advantages: high-quality fast printing and large ink tanks of the CISS system — 70 ml.
Flaws: No wireless connection, 4‑color system.
EPSON, seeing the inevitability of the trend, was the first to put its printers on sale with an already built-in CISS. Users greeted with a bang the opportunity to pour liters of ink in the RX and L models — series. This model, although not the cheapest, is ready to give out up to 7500 color pages on one “charge”.
Epson L805 — from 180$
- the same 5760 × 1440 dpi, but already at 37/38 pages per minute, via WiFi, with support for Mac OS;
- borderless printing on labels, film, discs, and paper up to 300 g/m2.
Advantages: CISS, no ink codes required, wireless.
Flaws: expensive “native” ink, print quality is lame on plain paper in standard settings. Frequent user complaints about driver failures.
It hardly makes sense to buy one if you print a couple of sheets a week. But for an individual entrepreneur or a small photo studio, this is just a godsend!
The use of these devices is justified only by the very low price of the print in the long term. Although the printers themselves are not cheap.
Canon i‑SENSYS LBP611Cn — from 98$
- the resolution is minimal, 600 × 600 dpi, but at such a price of the device this is not surprising;
- weighs as much as 15.5 kg, takes up a lot of space too
Advantages: price, price and again price — for a laser printer it’s very cheap.
Flaws: too big for the home, besides not suitable for printing high-quality photographic materials.
One of the contenders for the title of the best color printer for the home is Canon’s i‑SENSYS laser printer. You should not find fault with the speed and quality of printing (the color gamut is small) — the device justifies its price.
HP Color LaserJet Pro 254dw — from 140$.
- fast color A4 — 21 pages / min., the first page will “bake” in 11 seconds, a monthly load of up to 40 thousand pages;
- supports all operating systems, WiFi, USB and RJ45 communication;
- Backlit LCD menu display and 256 MB memory.
Advantages: Color cartridge yield 1,400 pages
Flaws: rather bulky, color print resolution is low (600×600 dpi
Created for those who have a small office at home. Very fast, with a low cost per page.
Xerox Phaser 6020 — from 120$.
- one of the most affordable models among LED;
- designed for high-volume printing — up to 30,000 sheets per month
Advantages: does not make noise during operation, has Wi-Fi and USB modules “on board”, 1200 × 2400 dpi resolution is enough for most users.
Flaws: takes up a lot of space, weighs 11 kg — not for every apartment.
Until recently, LED printers were expensive and used only in offices, but today you can find relatively affordable models for the home.
Photo: Canon, pixabay.com
Other useful printer resources:
- Inkjet or laser printer: which is better for home and office?
- How does a 3D printer work? Just about complex